Friday, April 16, 2010

Patience, Grasshopper.

Yesterday, I woke up with new parenting resolve. Still high from an episode of Supernanny the night before, I was determined to be patient.

I got up and found, to my surprise, that both children were up. Jackson is often up before me, but Sydney is rarely. I usually have to carry a sleepy princess downstairs.

A few minutes later I went downstairs and was surprised that Sydney wasn't there. Jackson disavowed any knowledge of her whereabouts. I assumed that Sydney was still in her bed. She is tiny and can be mistaken for a wrinkle in the blankets. This was curious to me since her light was on and it didn't make sense that she would get up and turn on her light and then go back to bed, disguising herself as a blanket-wrinkle.

Every couple minutes I called upstairs for the princess to come down. When breakfast was on the table, I headed upstairs to retrieve the sleepyhead.

She wasn't in her bed.

I checked Jackson's room and the playroom. I started having flashbacks to made-for-TV movies where children vanish from their bed in the middle of the night.

I called out LOUDLY "SYDNEY!!!"

I heard from her room a quiet "yes?"

Turns out she was in her closet dressing her Lizzie, her Build-a-Bear bear from her sixth birthday. Anyone that has tried to put shoes on a Build-a-Bear will understand how she could have spent 15 minutes silently in her closet shoehorning the bear.

I breathed deeply as my heart rate returned to normal.

Sydney assured me that her bear was almost ready to go downstairs. It's worthwhile to point out that Sydney was still in her pyjamas. And she did come downstairs. After she found a friend for Lizzie. And a bag to carry the two of them. And an orange plastic lei for Lizzie to wear.

Before Sydney could eat breakfast, she had to get Lizzie and friend situated appropriately. After breakfast, she moved the trio (her and her bears) to the couch, taking great care to prop them up just right. Meanwhile, we should have been heading downstairs to leave.

I started help Sydney to get dressed and realized her face is full of breakfast so I sent her to wash and brush her teeth. Lizzie & Co. made the trip to the bathroom too.

Meanwhile, the J Boy has discovered that the movie he made last night on the computer was not saved. Because he didn't save it. And while Husband or I usually make up for Jackson's omission, the computer froze last night and his work was lost. So Jackson tersely informed me that he was not going to school until he "made" his movie again. This actually means putting in a title, subtitles and credits, which he is actually pretty good at.

I ignored his tone and my building frustration with Sydney and told him he had a little time as Sydney still wasn't dressed.

Sydney finally finished the bathroom duties and returned to the family room with her entourage. I got her dressed and decided the hair combing could wait another day.

I tried to get her moving in the direction of the car but she had to get Lizzie and friend properly placed in their travel bag and she had to untangle the orange lei. Jackson fortunately had finished his movie and readily moved in direction of the car.

With all my prodding of Sydney I had forgotten to make my lunch so I went to the pantry for easily grabbable foodstuffs and told the kids to get shoes and jackets and get to the van.

A few minutes later I was pleased to discover that they were actually in the van. Usually when left to their own devices they will only have made it halfway down the stairs and then would have been distracted by a penny or a piece of an old Happy Meal toy.

Jackson was actually buckled in his booster seat. Sydney was in the back row buckling Lizzie and friend into their car seats. S L O W L Y. But just a little prodding and we were on our way to school. We were a little behind, but with a little hustle in the parking lot, I thought they might be on time.

I congratulated myself excessively for being patient with Sydney (and Lizzie).

I said in the most respectful, calm and even voice, "Sydney, if you need to get Lizzie ready in the morning, I'll just get you up a little earlier so you'll have time to take care of her."

"WAAAAAAAH!!!!" She sobbed, whimpered and cried at the prospect of getting up a few minutes earlier.

Shouldn't this fine parenting be rewarded with a "thanks for being patient with me this morning, Mommy. I know I was driving your crazy with Lizzie and her bear and the orange lei and everything, but I will always remember how patient you were with me in the morning."

Once at school, I let the kids out of the van in a handicap parking spot (I know, I judge people all the time, but no one ever parks there and I didn't ACTUALLY park there, I just let them out of the van). I waited for a parking spot to open up. Sydney's class had "family math" where parents are invited to play a math game for the first few minutes of the class so I needed to park and get to class so she and I could go on a shape walk (identify shapes in and around the classroom).

As expected a parking spot soon opened up and I parked and hustled down to grade 1.

I reached Sydney's class of one of the other parents said with a smile "Yes, Sydney told everyone you were late today."

That is rich.

1 comment:

Ellie said...

Well done, Grasshopper!!

Oh, those little details, the distractions, delays .. they make me nuts. Usually the later we are, the slower they move. All in all that was a very smooth morning.

And it's true that the days things aren't clicking my losing my patience never helps. Then we're just late and angry.

Love that picture with the bear! Too cute!

-Ellie